Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Workout



12 Days of Christmas Workout



You know the song: “3 French hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.”  

This workout uses the same pattern: “30 count side planks per side, 20 count front plank and a push-up.”  Start from #1 and keep adding.  

Let’s get warmed up!   This workout should take 20-30 minutes.  Be sure to cool down and stretch afterwards.  

1 push up.
20 count front plank.
30 count side plank per side.
4 Bridge and reaches per side.
5 Lunges per side.
6 Knee drives per side.
7 PliƩ squats.
8 PliƩ squats from toes.
9 Squats.
10 Rows with resistance bands.
11 Tricep press down with resistance band.
12 Bicep curls with resistance band.

P.S .  Thank you to Tracy Gibbons for introducing the idea to us at Fit 4 Two back in the day.    
P.P.S. Thank you to Kyla Baker for the awesome photos 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fitness Goals for Moms-to-be

Pregnancy is the perfect time to build good exercise habits.  Exercise can prevent gestational diabetes, reduce pack pain, improve mood and increase stamina for childbirth.  Extra bonus: Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to exercise postpartum.  Women who exercise in the first 6 months after having a baby report less aches & pains, more self-acceptance, better body image and increased fitness.  Ready to get moving?

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada recommends that all healthy women with normal pregnancies do up to 4 days a week of cardiovascular exercise as well as incorporate muscular conditioning and stretching into their routines. You do not need to wait until the 2nd 
trimester to being an exercise routine.

What might a prenatal fitness routine look like?

Monday: Prenatal Yoga (strength/stretching/relaxation)
Tuesday: Prenatal Fitness (cardio/strength/stretching/relaxation)
Wednesday: Date night (dinner and a light walk)
Thursday: Prenatal Fitness (cardio/strength/stretching/relaxation)
Friday: Prenatal AquaFit (cardio/strength/stretching/relaxation)
Saturday: rest, light walk
Sunday: rest, light walk

Or maybe...

Monday: Prenatal Yoga (strength/stretching/relaxation)
Tuesday: 30 minute power walk at lunch.   Personal training session after work (cardio/strength/stretching/relaxation)
Wednesday: 30 minute swim followed by stretch (cardio/stretch)
Thursday: Personal training session at lunch (cardio/strength/stretching/relaxation)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Moderate hike with friends
Sunday: Rest

Take the challenge!

Plan out your weekly fitness plan for September and post it on our facebook page.  Check out the other plans and be inspired.  See someone you know, send them an encouraging message.   See someone with similar interests, connect with them and suggest exercising together.  Fit 4 Two is synonymous with community.  Let's support one another so that we all benefit from an active lifestyle.





Fitness Goals for New Moms

In our recent newsletter we asked the question, Is September the new January?   If you are a new mom who wants to set some fall fitness goals, this is the blog post for you.

Experts agree that the SMART principle increases goal adherence and we agree.  When setting goals be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based.  
   


Let's try an example.  Sara's global goal is to lose 10 lbs.  So how does she get there?  If she writes lose 10lbs in her fitness journal it isn't all that helpful.  Let's help her turn her global goal into 3 SMART goals.

In September:
1. I will attend Mom & Baby Fitness Mondays and Wednesday.
2. I will go for a one hour power walk with my baby in the stroller on Fridays.
3. I will eat a healthy breakfast (3-4 food groups) by 10am everyday.

The results?
12 hours of exercise: More energy, less aches and pains, improved body tone, healthy weight loss,  increased confidence, improved mood and new friends.
30 healthy breakfasts: More energy, better food choices for the rest of the day, healthy weight loss, increased confidence, improved mood.

Sara has built some healthy habits and is now on her way to safely and effectively losing those 10lbs and keeping them off.  Once she has established these healthy habits she can choose 3 new SMART goals to focus on for October.

Note: A safe amount of weight to lose/week when breastfeeding exclusively is .5-1 lb/week.  When not exclusively breastfeeding, 1-2 lbs a week.

Take the challenge!

Plan out your weekly fitness plan for September and post it on our facebook page.  Check out the other plans and be inspired.  See someone you know, send them an encouraging message.   See someone with similar interests, connect with them and suggest exercising together.  Fit 4 Two is synonymous with community.  Let's support one another so that we all benefit from an active lifestyle.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Become a Birth Partner

 ...because ALL women deserve safe and supportive birth experiences


I am excited to announce that Fit 4 Two has partnered with the Shanti Uganda Society.  As a Shanti Uganda Ambassador, my role is to share my passion for this amazing organization. 

“We imagine a world where birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS are supported, empowered and able to develop to their full potential.” – The Shanti Uganda Vision

I have been a Shanti Uganda Birth Partner for two years.  This means I have committed to a monthly donation that covers the costs associated with one birth per month at the Shanti Uganda Birth House.   As a mother, and as a Fit 4 Two instructor, being able to contribute to Shanti Uganda is a meaningful way for me to contribute to positive childbirth experiences for all women.

Currently many women in Uganda have no access to medical support when complications arise during the birth process. By the time they make their way on the back of a bumpy motorcycle ride to the closest clinic, it is often too late.  Shanti Uganda’s  goal is to lower maternal and infant mortality rates, reduce HIV/AIDS transmission rates from mother to child, improve birth outcomes and access to education for Traditional Birth Attendants and provide a safe and empowering place for women to welcome their babies into the world.  In addition to the women they support, Shanti Uganda has also hired many of the local men to help run the birth house and support our work.  

If you would like to help support the pre and postnatal care of women and babies at the Shanti Uganda birth house, join me and become a Shanti Uganda Birth Partner today!   


Thank You Gift:  When signing up, select 'Fit 4 Two' in the 'How you learned about Birth Partners' drop down and you'll be sent a special multi-colour necklace made by Shanti Uganda's Women's Income Generating Group.





Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cross-training for Pregnancy



Research shows that cross-training can increase performance and prevent injury.  That's why it rocks for pregnancy.

Due to the many anatomical and physiological changes of pregnancy, moms-to-be are more prone to back pain and musculoskeletal injuries.  Therefore, cross-training just makes sense.




Example
Monday Prenatal Yoga
Tuesday Power Walk/Jog and stretch
Wednesday Prenatal Fitness
Friday Prenatal AquaFit
Sunday Cardio/strength training/stretch at the gym

With this program, you would be getting the recommended 4 days of cardio a week.  The cardio varies in type and environment therefore reducing overuse injuries.  You will also be getting in 3-4 days of muscular conditioning and 5 days of flexibility. A weekly aquatic workout gives you an opportunity for a very low/no impact workout as well as a circulation boost. You will also notice a significant increase in range of motion.  A weekly prenatal yoga class is fantastic for strength, flexibility, relaxation and breath awareness.

Cross-training also reduces boredom and increases program adherence.  We recommend scheduling your workouts in each week so you can get a global view.  So grab your calendar and get started!

See you at class.

Money Saving Tips for Sun Safety


Safe sun screen, sun shades, sun glasses...these things add up.  Here are some money saving tips:

1. Buy a universal stroller sun cover.  We like this one from Jolly Jumper.  At $14.99 it is much more affordable than most brand name stroller specific covers. Plus the universal covers can also be used on playpens, carriers and umbrella strollers.

2. Use a stroller sun cover.  If you use a sun cover, you do not need to use sunscreen as often.

3. Dress baby in light weight, breathable long sleeved tops, long pants, socks and a hat.  All that's left to slather is from the neck up.

4. Invest in safe sunscreen.  Read the EWG (Skin Deep)'s 2012 Sunscreen Report here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Waddle Warning


Don't let the pregnancy 'waddle' wreak havoc on your body.What does a pregnant waddle look like?
Toes out, short strides, torso leaning back.

Why is it bad?
 
It puts excessive strain on the lower back and contributes to the weakening and shortening of the gluteal muscles, abductors (outer thighs), hamstrings and lower back.  The result? Back an pelvic girdle pain....and more waddling....so more back and pelvic girdle pain.  

What can we do about it?
  • Walk with a long but natural stride.
  • Lightly engage deep core muscles while walking.
  • Keep your toes pointing forward.
  • Strengthen the adductors (inner thighs), abductors (outer thighs), glutes, hamstrings and core (pelvic floor, TVA, rectus abdominals and erector spinae).
  • Stretch and lengthen the abductors (outer thighs), glutes, hamstrings and low back.

Waddle Prevention Routine
Always seek medical advice before beginning or continuing an exercise program during pregnancy.  We recommend completing a PARmed-X for Pregnancy with your health care provider.


1. Warm Up: 10 minute walk with mindful posture and stride. Gradually increase speed to the point where you feel warm enough to do your workout.

2. Stationary Lunges:
  Make sure your stride is long enough so that your front knee does not go over your front toes.  Stay tall in your torso.  Hold onto the wall if needed.  Make sure your pelvis is square and both toes are pointing forward.  Push your front heel into the earth as you come up in order to better activate the hamstrings and glutes. 10/leg.


3. Active Recovery: 2 minute brisk walk.  Focus on lightly engaging your deep core muscles.
 


4. Walking Lunges:
Begin with a right leg forward stationary lunge.  Step forward with your left leg into a left leg forward lunge.  Continue alternating forward legs as you travel forward.  If you do not feel safe, stick with stationary lunges.  20 reps.


5. Active Recovery: 2 minute brisk walk. Focus on a natural stride and a tall torso. 

6. Repeat steps 2-5

7. Cool down: 5 minute walk.  Maintain good posture and gait.

8. Super Moms: Begin on hands and knees.  Extend opposite arm and leg.  Hug baby to spine.  Breath naturally. 5/side.

9. Baby Hugs: Sit cross legged or tall on a ball/chair.  Inhale to prepare.  As you exhale, activate your pelvic floor and hug your baby into your spine using your TVA muscles.



10. Wide Leg Forward Bend: Stand with legs wide, toes pointing forward or slightly in.  Hinge from the hips keeping spine as long as possible.  Use a chair as support if needed.
Note: It is okay to bend your knees.





Child's Pose: Widen knees to make room for breasts and belly.  While in this position, engage your pelvic floor each time you exhale.






Side Laying Quads/Hip Flexor Stretch: Rest head and neck.  Keep legs parallel and tilt pelvis under to lengthen the hip flexors.  Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat on other side.


   

Pre and Postnatal Posture Part Two

How does your lower back feel today? 

The number one complaint during pregnancy is low back pain. For new moms, it is definitely in the top three (right behind fatigue and mommy brain). So what causes low back pain? How do we prevent it? How do we manage it?

During pregnancy (10 months!) the weight of your uterus pulls your pelvis forward into an anterior tilt.  Think of your pelvis like a bowl of water and you are pouring the water out in front of you.  This leads to a larger than normal curvature of your lumbar spine (lower back) called excessive lordosis.  The result?  A sore lower back.  After baby is born, you may find it takes several weeks or even months for your pelvis to move back into a neutral position.  This postural shift coupled with caring for baby means many new moms suffer from chronic lower back pain as well.

Here you can see a typical progression from a neutral spine to excessive lordosis.

Enough of the doom and gloom.  What can we do about it?!

1. Get to know your deep core muscles.  Your pelvic floor and transverses abominal muscles (TVA) are key in preventing and reducing excessive lordosis.  Aim for 10 pelvic floor lifts (aka Kegels) on the exhale and 10 TVA (aka belly button to spine or baby to spine) activations on the exhale 3X a day.  As you get stronger, aim to contract and hold these muscles while maintaining normal breath. Click here for more info on pelvic floor.


This graphic gives you a visual of the importnance of a strong pelvic floor.

2. Stretch!  Spend extra time stretching your low back, hip flexor, quadricep and hamstring stretches. 


Child's pose, pictured below, is a restorative stretch that targets the lower back, thighs and glutes. With arms extended, it also lengthens the anterior deltoids and Pectorals.


A side lying quadriceps stretch with a posterior pelvic tilt (tuck pelvis) helps to lengthen quadriceps and hip flexors. 

3. Find neutral.  Just like Kegels, we recommend setting certain times of day that you check in with your pelvis.  For example in the elevator or each time you get up from your desk/feeding baby.  Place your hands on your hips and tilt your pelvis under and back a few times before settling into neutral. 

A special thank you to Kyla Baker Photography and our mommy models Kait and Emma from Fit 4 Two Stroller Bootcamp.

As always, questions and comments welcome.

Click here to read Pre and Postnatal Posture Part One

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Can exercising during pregnancy make labour shorter? Easier? Less painful?

This is one of the most challenging questions we get asked.  We would love to simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but neither answer is 100% true.

Clapp & Dickenson (1984) found that pregnant women who exercised regularly throughout their pregnancies had a higher incidence of uncomplicated, spontaneous delivery and their labours were 1/3 shorter than the control group.  They also observed that the pregnant women who stopped exercising regularly midway through pregnancy had similar outcomes to the control group.

There have been similar studies that support the labour benefits of regular exercise throughout pregnancy.  It makes sense that fitter women might have an advantage over women who are unfit.  That said, after working with pregnant women for over 9 years I also recognize that there are many factors out of our control.  For example, baby might decide to put her hand by her face while trying to exit the birth canal.  A fit mom is as likely as a non fit woman to have placenta previa.  A fit mom’s labour can be slowed by the same factors that can slow an unfit woman’s labour.

So what do we do with all this information?  Well, if we know that an active pregnancy is one factor that we can control (assuming a normal pregnancy) then it makes sense to get moving and keep moving.  Not sure where to start?  Read on.

Cardiovascular Endurance
Labour could be 4 hours.  Labour could be 2 days.  Either way, a strong cardiovascular system is going to help you to cope with the demands of childbirth.  If you have a caesarean birth, being fit can also help speed up your recovery.  Aim for 30 minutes of cardio (not including warm up or cool down) 4 days a week.

Muscular Endurance
Research shows that changing positions in labour and being able to get into a squat position significantly effects length of labour and increases your chance of having an uncomplicated vaginal birth. Labour takes strength and stamina.  Aim for 2 sets of 10-15 reps for each major muscle group.  A  Fit 4 Two class is great way to learn safe and effective muscular endurance exercises that you can also do on your own.

Hands and Knees
At Fit 4 Two, we like to incorporate several 4-point prone exercises into each class.  This position relieved lower back discomfort (most common complaint of pregnancy) during pregnancy and encourages the fetus to stay in the optimal position: head down, back against mom’s tummy.  Optimal fetal position usually means a less invasive, shorter, more comfortable birth.

Pelvic Floor
A toned pelvic floor is a more elastic pelvic floor. A more elastic pelvic floor means an easier exit for baby (all things being equal).  Be sure to incorporate pelvic floor exercises, often called Kegels, into your daily routine.  We recommend reading our recent posts 5 Reasons Pregnant Women Need a Strong Pelvic Floor and Dear Gymnasts, Dancers,Waitresses and Horseback Riders.

Mental Preparation
Many women who exercised regularly through their pregnancies report feeling that their labours were more manageable, easier or quicker.  Perhaps this is because these women had more confidence in their bodies' ability to cope with the sensations of labour.  Through exercise, they had seen what their bodies were capable of.  Perhaps they prepared themselves mentally for the strenuous task ahead of them and were able to send themselves the same positive messages like "I am safe", "My body was designed to birth my baby" and "Every contraction means I am closer to the "finish line".  It's food for thought.

Motivated to get moving?  Come try a Fit 4 Two class.  Click here to find a prenatal fitness classes in your community. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Choosing the best fitness class for you and your baby

Spring marks the beginning of more class variety at Fit 4 Two. Before you register for a class, let's talk about the best choice for you and your baby.

1. Body Readiness
After having your baby, vaginally or by cesarean, you will be encouraged to do pelvic floor exercises, go for light walks and stretch.  If you had a vaginal birth, your health care provider will ask you to wait until your lochia (post partum bleeding) is complete, and the initial veil of fatigue has passed, before easing into a regular fitness program.  If you had a cesarean birth, your doctor will ask you to wait until s/he gives you the green light at your 6-week post operative check-up.

2. The Early Days
Are you body ready (see above)?  If you answered yes, then this is the time to ease back into fitness and establish a good base of muscular endurance.  Pregnancy, childbirth, post partum hormones, fatigue and the physical demands of parenting make your joints more vulnerable and susceptible to injury.  The following classes are excellent choices:
Indoors: Mom & Baby Fitness, Mom & Baby Spin and StrengthMom & Baby Fitness Fusion, Tummies 4 Mommies, Stroller Fitness
Outdoors: Stroller Fitness

Check your local Fit 4 Two page to see what class types are being offered near you.

3. As you progress
Once you have eased back into a fitness routine and have been able to keep at it regularly (cardio and muscular endurance training at least 3 days a week) for at least 6 weeks, then you have a couple of choices.  Continue attending your current class and choose the more challenging options or try one of our boot camp style classes. 

Indoors: Mom & Baby Bootcamp
Outdoors: Stroller Bootcamp

Check your local Fit 4 Two page to see what class types are being offered near you.

4. As your baby grows
Your baby's age and stage also factor into which class you choose.  Once your baby becomes mobile, you will need to choose one of our classes that can safely accomodate mobile babies: Stroller Fitness, Stroller Bootcamp or Mom and Baby AquaFit

5. Aquatic classes
Fit 4 Two Mom & Baby AquaFit is a fun way for moms to get in a full body workout while babies (6-24 months-old) get a positive introduction to the aquatic environment.  This unique class is offered in Winnipeg-West.

We hope you will find this information helpful as you register for spring classes.  Questions and comments are always welcome.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Coming to Class with a Newborn and an Older Sibling

  video

No doubt about it, many parents are intimidated by the idea of working out with more than one child.

I remember my own experience easing back into fitness after my second babe. I was attending Stroller Fitness classes as a participant, pushing my Mountain Buggy Double packed to the gunwhales with snacks, diapers and a yoga mat. Fifteen minutes into my first class, I was sitting on the front nursing my youngest while passing Cheddar Bunnies to the other... a ton of work, indeed, and I wondered if I would manage to get any of the exercises in! But I stuck with it and I quickly learned to show up ahead of class to give my newborn a feeding on the park bench while my older daughter burned off a bit of energy at the playground, followed by a pit-stop & diaper change. At the beginning of class, I gave my eldest a Snack Trap full of granola and a sippy cup, while my youngest would soon doze off when we started moving. By the end of class, my eldest was happy to get out of the stroller to do her 'stretches' with the grown-ups and be a helper when I needed to attend to her little sister. It wasn't long before I was reaping both the physical and mental benefits that I so often preach as an instructor!

I've had many parents attend classes with siblings successfully, and here's what works:
  • Class Types? Stroller Fitness and Stroller Bootcamp are both safe options for attending with a mobile older sibling.
  • Try it out first! Two schedules, two sets of needs... consider trying class as a drop-in first to see what works. Contact your local instructor to be sure that the class type you are attending allows drop-ins.
  • Be prepared. The night before, pack your diaper bag and stroller so getting out in the morning will be that much more stream-lined.
  • Make it special. One very successful mom used to bring special plaintain chips for her older daughter to munch on while she worked out, and she reserved this snack as 'Stroller Fitness Only' - her 2yr old quickly caught on! This also works with special toys or new library books.
  • Make a day of it! Since it takes so much work to get out in the first place, plan to make the day an outing. Visit the playground or indoor play gym ahead of time to burn off the energy of an older sibling. Pack a nutritious lunch for afterwards and have a picnic!
  • Involve Your Child. Keeping safety in mind, let your older child be part of your workout. Let him help count out your reps, or have fun naming the exercises that you're doing. During core & stretch, encourage your older child to get down on their own 'mat' (diaper change pad, blanket, etc) and do the exercises with you - as you can see below, it's never to early to be a positive role model for your child!

   video

What has worked for you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fit 4 Two tank tops now available

Healthy, fit, mother, strong, beautiful, role model, active, able, informed, inspirational, powerful! 
Do these words describe you?
We believe they do.
Our 2012 Fit 4 Two tank top has been a huge hit locally and we are pleased to announce that they are now for sale within Canada and the USA. Visit the Fit 4 Two shop.

Pre and Postnatal Posture Part One

What do you spend most of your day doing?  Sitting at a computer?  Driving?  Holding your child?  Chances are you spend a big chunk of your day with your spine in kyphosis.  In other words, rounding your upper back and jutting your chin forward as you lean over your lap top or steering wheel.  

Due to postural changes during pregnancy, this kyphosis often becomes excessive.  Enter baby, the kyphosis almost always becomes excessive.  Holding, carrying and feeding baby required hours spend in a hunched over position and a lot of that time you are also carrying an every growing load i.e. baby. 

The result? headaches, neck pain, back pain, sleeplessness and well....poor posture.  We all look and feel more attractive and more energized when we stand tall.

One of my favourite exercises for preventing and managing excessive kyphosis is the low row.  I like to use a resistance band because it can be used almost anywhere. 



Once you have the green light from your healthcare provider, begin with 1-2 sets of 10 reps 2-3 days a week.  Progress to 1-3 sets of 10-20 reps 2-3 days a week.  Stand with a staggered athletic stance.  Relax your jaw and neck.  As you exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Choose a good quality band so that the resistance is challenging enough to achieve results.  Fit 4 Two uses Ripcords because they have great tension and a lifetime warranty. They are for sale in the Fit 4 Two Shop 

Questions or comments welcome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear Gymnasts, Dancers, Waitresses, Horseback Riders

If you are or were a gymnast, dancer, waitress or horseback rider, chances are you have heard horror stories about how difficult your birth is going to be. I am sorry that you have had to endure these fear-enhancing comments.  I believe that you can have an amazing birth experience. Let me explain.

Women who have spent many years with perfect posture and strong core muscles will benefit from this during pregnancy and childbirth.  The number one complaint of pregnancy is low back pain.  A strong core is one of the best ways to prevent and manage back pain.  One of the top fears women have about childbirth is tearing of their pelvic floor and perineum.  A toned pelvic floor is more elastic than a low toned pelvic floor.  This means that your pelvic floor can stretch out of the way more effectively as baby passes through the vaginal canal.

So why do some women with these backgrounds have a difficult birth experience.  First of all, there are many factors that effect how your labour will progress.  In other words, both fit and unfit women can have an ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’ birth experience. Most have a birth experience somewhere in between.  Second, it’s not the strength of one’s core that may make things difficult; it is the inability to release one’s core.  If you are a dancer for example, you may have spent years with your core muscles continuously on.  Then when in labour, it may be difficult to turn them off.

So what can you do to increase your chances of an optimal birth experience?  Add some pelvic floor relaxation exercises into your fitness routine.  When you do your Kegels, put equal or more emphasis on the release of the contraction.  Practice letting go of your core muscles on demand. Lastly, do not allow the negative predictions of others to creep into your mind during labour.  When those thought and fears arise, use a mantra to bring yourself back to realty.  You can say this mantra out loud or in your head.  Here are a few suggestions.

“I was made to do this”

“My body knows what to do”

“I am soft.  I am open”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Our New Fit 4 Two Tank Top Design has been a HUGE hit.  As soon as our main shipment arrives we'll be selling them at http://www.fit4two.ca/ In the mean time, you can enter to win one on your local Fit 4 Two Facebook Page.

I created this design late one night when my children were fast asleep.  I wanted a tank top that I felt excited to wear and that would inspire others.  It looks like it's working.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 Reasons Pregnant Women Need a Strong Pelvic Floor


  1. To prevent urinary incontinence.  A strong pelvic floor prevents embarrassing accidents before and after birth.
  2. To avoid tearing or the need for episiotomy during the pushing stage of labour.  Toned pelvic floor muscles are more elastic and able to stretch out of the way so baby can pass through.
  3. To prevent back pain and injuries.  Your pelvic floor is part of your core.  In fact, it is the centre of your core.  It needs to be activated for your core to work 100%.  A strong core prevents back pain and injuries.
  4. To prevent prolapse.  Women with toned pelvic floor muscles have a lower risk of prolapsed organs (ex. Uterus) during labour.
  5. To rehabilitate your core postpartum.  If you know where those muscles are now, it will be much easier to find them after baby arrives.
All Fit 4 Two® Classes include information and exercises that will help you strengthen your pelvic floor. 

Questions and comments welcome


Finding it difficult to stay disciplined with your pelvic floor exercises on your own? Feeling like you need more instruction and cues? You're in luck...there's an app for that! Download the Fit 4 Two-approved Pelvic Floor Trainer App and enjoy both visual and audio routines at your fingertips. 




Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Workouts


The sun finally graced us here in Vancouver. For those who are not aware, Vancouver is famous for grey, rainy winters...so when the sun shines....we get outdoors.  The sea wall and parks were packed with Vancouverites enjoying everything from cycling to ball hockey. 

My friend and colleague Dee from Fit 4 Two Vancouver Westside and I started the day off with some snowshoeing up at Grouse Mountain.  Just a 20 minute drive away, it is a good reminder of why Vancouver is such a great city to live in.

In the afternoon I snuck in a strength training workout with resistance bands at the park while my children played.  The highlight was teaching some fellow parents how to use the resistance bands too.  Perhaps we'll end up with a weekly workout while the kiddies play.  

What do you do for exercise in the winter?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Prenatal Cardio – How often? How hard? How long? What’s safe?

The SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada) and CSEP (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) recommend that all healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies do regular cardiovascular exercise. 

Why? 
Because research shows that regular cardiovascular exercise may prevent gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure), loss of cardiovascular fitness, excessive weight gain, varicose veins, low back pain and more.  In nine years experience teaching prenatal fitness classes, I would add further benefits such as increased energy, reduced nausea, improved mental health as well as stamina for labour.

THE SOGC/CSEP guidelines are as follows:

Frequency: Up to 4 days a week
Intensity: Use a combination of
(a)  The Talk Test - You should be able to produce short sentences
(b)  RPE (rate of perceived exertion) – Listen to your body
(c)   Heart Rate checks – Use the Target Heart Rate chart in the PARmed-X for Pregnancy form
Time: 15-30 minutes not including warm up or cool down
Type: Low impact endurance exercise using large muscle groups (ex walking, stationary bike, swimming aqua fitness, low impact aerobics).  Avoid activities that put you in danger of falling, collisions or flying projectiles. If you were previously doing impact exercise like running and it still feels good, then it is ok to continue running.  Just be sure to stay within the guidelines for frequency, intensity and time.

Questions and comments welcome.